European curb appeal promises to turn heads
The Volvo 9700 is coming to America.
At a time when consumers are becoming more aware of motorcoach travel and alternative transportation, such European curb appeal promises to turn heads. Prevost will formally introduce motorcoach operators to the North American edition this month at the United Motorcoach Association (UMA) Expo 2009 in Orlando, FL.
Designed in Sweden and manufactured in Tultitlán, Mexico, expressly for the U.S. and Canadian markets, the Volvo 9700 will be available through the Prevost network of regional sales and service centers.
“Prevost is very excited to offer the Volvo 9700 as a new addition to our product offerings,” says Dann Wiltgen, Prevost Vice President Coach Sales. “With the Volvo 9700 Prevost is able to offer a safe, versatile and reliable vehicle equipped with features ensuring the improved profitability and efficiency of our customers.”
Though safety is certainly at the roots, the 80-year-old company is relying on the modern exterior and elegant features of the 45-ft Volvo 9700 for a commanding first impression in its North American debut. Three separate color schemes, sleek luggage racks, handles and ceiling panels lend to a luxurious and spacious interior.
Safety and comfort for everyone
The driver compartment offers comfort and a commanding overview inside and out. The distinctive design of the instrument panel is easy to read with a clear, large display positioned centrally in the main instrument binnacle. The logically grouped controls are within easy reach.
Large windows and mirrors with integrated close-quarter mirrors provide perfect visibility all around. Bi-Xenon headlamps emit a powerful beam of light for excellent night-time visibility. Large tail lights positioned high up in the body are clearly visible from behind.
A high capacity and efficient Carrier–Sutrack AC353 air conditioning system features individually adjustable air vents for each seat. The driver also can regulate the climate separately from the cabin for an individual level of comfort.
The Volvo 9700 comes equipped with three-point seat belts for passengers. Volvo says high-efficiency brakes, electronic stability program, safety-tested body and proprietary impact protection for the driver also contribute in making the Volvo 9700 one of the safest motorcoaches on the market.
Added safety for the driver
Volvo says it is the first motorcoach manufacturer to introduce Front Impact Protection (FIP) and Knee Impact Protection for added safety for the driver. FIP essentially absorbs and diverts impact forces in the event of a frontal collision. The Knee Impact Protection system consists of energy-absorbing panels positioned at knee height behind the instrument panel that absorb the kinetic energy in a frontal collision. When the driver’s knees strike the instrument panel, the impact panels crumple gently in a controlled manner to minimize injury.
Volvo first with FUPS
In a frontal collision between a bus and a passenger car the occupants in the automobile suffer the greatest risk of injury. To improve their safety, the Volvo 9700 comes equipped with a Front Underrun Protection System (FUPS), consisting of a steel beam fitted behind the bumper that prevents the car from becoming wedged under the bus.
In a collision, the FUPS absorbs the impact energy of the auto as it gives under the impact and lessens the force of the impact.
Volvo says it also is the first vehicle manufacturer to fit this type of underrun protection system on buses.
The Volvo 9700 features Volvo disc brakes with electronic brake system (EBS) for rapid, gentle and controlled braking. Additionally Hill Start Aid offered on the I-Shift stops the bus from rolling backwards as it starts on a hill.
The Volvo Engine Brake (VEB) combined with the Brake Blending function perform a large part of the braking before the wheel brakes activate. The Electronic Stability Program (ESP) is standard on the Volvo 9700, which significantly reduces the risk of the bus rolling over or driving off the road both in normal road conditions, or when the surface is slippery.
The VOLVO 9700 powertrain
The powerful, lightweight Volvo D13 engine from Volvo Powertrain meets current EPA 2010 mandates at minimal operational cost. The Volvo 9700 features I-Shift, the intelligent gear-changing system that combines the robustness and dependability of a manual gearbox with the comfort and convenience of automatic transmission. Volvo says the new version I-Shift generation is lighter, quieter and more compact than before. Volvo says the D13 engine, completely assembled in the United States, provides excellent low-end torque for improved drivability.
The vertical installation of the Diesel Particulate Filter and rooftop diffuser is the same as other Prevost motorcoach models operating in North America. Volvo says the vertically positioned DPF generates less heat in the engine compartment, and lessens the need for special heat precautions during maintenance. Mechanics say it makes it easier to get to the engine, and the roomier compartment provides easier access to major components such as fans and radiators, and direct access to the DPF for maintenance. With all the service points logically grouped any maintenance procedure is easier.
Prevost set for service
Prevost says operators who choose the Volvo 9700 can take full advantage of the Prevost Network and more than 50 certified service providers across the country.
The company has invested heavily in training over the past two years to prepare the Prevost Network and affiliates to service the new coach and be ready with the necessary Volvo components and parts.
Prevost also added it is handling the warranty of the Volvo 9700. BR